Drug addition is a serious problem in the United States and around the world. In 2015, 20.5 million Americans had a substance abuse problem. At least two million of them had a problem with prescription pain drugs. At least 591,000 people had problems with heroin. The opioid epidemic is one of the most dangerous in the country. That same year, there were 20,101 deaths that could be attributed to overdoses of opioid pain killers. If you, or someone you love, is suffering from an addition to opioids or other substances, you may not now where to go for help. Many people are seeking and finding help at ibogaine clinics.
What is ibogaine therapy?
Ibogaine drug treatment uses a compound that has been around for a very long time. The substance itself has been used in Western Africa for thousands of years. In the 1960s, it was found to have properties that could be used to treat opioid addiction. It can be very effective at helping people avoid the harsh withdrawal symptoms that are often barriers to stopping using drugs. Scientists have now found that it can be used to treat addictions to heroin, alcohol, methadone, cocaine and nicotine, in addition to opioids. The ibogaine clinics administer the compound and it returns the receptors in the brain to their state before they were ever exposed to drugs or alcohol.
How does this work?
Patients at an ibogaine addiction treatment facility will be administered the substance. This causes the patient to experience a very intense experience that is psychedelic in nature. This will last for anywhere between 24 and 36 hours, though it can go beyond that. This is very much a personal experience and one person’s process may be very different from another person’s. This is when the brain chemistry is reset to the point before the drugs or alcohol were first introduced. This can be very intense and it is important to be carefully monitored by medical professionals.
How does one prepare for ibogaine therapy?
There are a few things people can do to make sure they are in the right state physically and mentally for their time at the ibogaine clinic:
- Stop using the substance of choice several days before you arrive at the clinic, if you can. There are people who cannot physically do this but it is a good idea to stop taking drugs or using alcohol several days before you arrive at the ibogaine clinic. This will make the process easier.
- Eat well. One thing that people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol do not do is eat healthy, nutritious foods. This makes the process of getting off the drugs or alcohol a lot harder. Your body needs nourishment. Before you show up at the ibogaine clinic, eat healthy foods. Take supplements with B vitamins in them.
- Stay hydrated. It has been found that when many people are hungry, they are actually thirsty. It has also been found that, by the time most people feel thirsty, they are already dehydrated. You should try to get more water in and also drink sports drinks such as Gatorade. These are packed with helpful electrolytes.
Prepare yourself for your treatment after you get home from the ibogaine clinic.
The importance of your aftercare plan cannot be overstated. Many recovery centers like to remind people that they need to make more change to their lives than just quitting the substance that they had a problem with. There is a saying, “a failure to plan is a plan to fail.” If you go back to the same situation that led to your problem with alcohol and drugs without a plan, you may find yourself going back to using.
Before you leave the ibogaine clinic, find a support network at home that can help you with that part of your recovery. Many people find help with 12 step groups but they are not for everyone. You need to find people and activities that give you the support you need as you go through the process that is recovery from drugs or alcohol. It is important to remember that this is very much a process and not a final destination. Your journey is very unique to you so keep that in mind.